Journal columnist Alison Robson talks about development in Grantham.
I’ve been reading the Southern Quadrant plans with interest lately, but I’m still not convinced that more houses are what Grantham needs.
And with the rumour of our Accident & Emergency department being downgraded, I do wonder how Grantham’s existing facilities could cope with additional people moving into the area.
What I’d really like to know is: why have they chosen 4,000 houses? And over what timescale do they plan to build them?
If it’s going to benefit the people of Grantham, the jobs building the houses and roads need to go to local people, not subcontractors from who knows where.
We have a lot of unemployed skilled labourers in the town – so I hope the SKDC will recruit locally.
As for the actual houses, I really hope we don’t end up with a lot of ‘shoebox housing’.
If you’re going to build houses please make them big enough to live in – none of this allocated parking rubbish or rooms that you can barely move around in.
I’d also like to know what the plans for the rest of Grantham are.
Obviously, if houses are being built, the logical idea would be to attract people from nearby towns where house prices are more expensive – Bourne, Stamford, maybe even Peterborough.
We’ve got some fantastic rail links but we don’t have a lot to offer. Are there plans for additional shopping centres, cheaper retail unit rents or other developments? Without this I’m not sure they could even sell another 4,000 houses on top of what is already available – and what people can’t afford as it is.
People don’t want to live on a giant housing estate with no shops or leisure facilities, especially when you consider what other towns have to offer.
Until SKDC clarifies a few things, I’m going to continue to sit on the fence about the Southern Quadrant plans. I can see pros and cons for the development but I’m not entirely convinced yet that this is the way to help Grantham grow and prosper.
By Alison Robson